A month after their first major Hyperloop test, Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop Technologies) CTO Brogan BamBrogan claims they already have the capability to build an underwater hyperloop transport system, but that they are just waiting for production to be “cost-competitive.”
“The DNA of my time at SpaceX has got its fingerprints all over Hyperloop,” BamBrogan says. “There’s nothing new that has to be invented, but (what) we are doing is innovating and doing things to bring the cost down.”
The Hyperloop, a concept proposed by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, is billed as the fifth mode of transport—one that can travel at up to 1,220 kph (758 mph) without getting people in it dizzy. The transport system houses people in a pressurized capsule riding on a cushion of air, and may use a number of propulsion systems such as magnetic levitation, or air pressure like that in an air hockey table.
BamBrogan says that at this point, production costs are still too high. But as technology develops, these costs will be driven down soon, and since the technology is something new it means that people would want it—they just don’t know it yet.
“We think we can deliver things people don’t even know they want yet, and that’s going to manifest itself in a lot of ways. So I think we will see some above-grade systems, we’re definitely going to see tunneled systems, and we also want to see some underwater systems,” Bambrogan says.